Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Half-Life’s Canceled Mac Port

Greg Gant:

It was natural for the game to be ported to Mac OS and OS X, as other high-profile first-person shooters from the era, like the Doom series, Hexen series, Quake series, Dark Forces, Deus Ex, Duke Nukem, and Unreal series, were all ported to the Mac.


In April 1999, Logicware under Sierra Studios announced that a Mac OS version was in the works, but by October it was completely canceled. The official reason why the port was axed was given by Gabe Newell, president of Valve, citing the lack of Team Fortress Classic and multiplayer with PC users and fear of releasing an inferior product.


For years, this was the accepted narrative. The port was nearly complete but didn’t live up to Valve’s high standards… that is, until recently, when Rebecca Heinemann (formerly Bill) spoke on the Retro Tea Breaks podcast, covering the ill-fated original port of Half-Life.

Via John Voorhees:

Drawing from an interview with developer Rebecca Heineman, who worked on the port, the video explains that Valve canceled the port after being misled by an Apple games evangelist about expected sales figures.

In addition to Heineman’s story about the cancellation of the Mac port of Half-Life, the video covers how Valve intended to bring the [Proton] technology that powers the Steam Deck to the Mac and why it never did.


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Any other source to corroborate this story? I know I shouldn't doubt it, after all this is the same woman who admitted to the very difficult circumstances that led one of the worst Doom ports ever released, the 3DO port! It certainly doesn't surprise me given Apple's very antagonistic relationships with their developer community. Apple has always acted like they are doing people a favor to allow them to work with Appleā€¦ nm a dearth of software means a dearth of reasons to own the devices.

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